1940 – First Year Crops Indicate A New Money Crop For This District is Started


The Nisqually Valley News

September 19th, 1940

This week saw the first of Yelm’s new crop, lima beans, harvested and threshed. The beans are turning out fairly good for a first year crop. The yields have been from 500 pounds to a ton to the acre. The culture and fertilization of the beans is entirely new to the district and another year the farmers will know better how to care for them.

The ordinary growing season for the limas, judged by other localities, was about 120 days, but in this vicinity, from the time they were lanted [planted] until the harvest started was just 104 days. The water and climate here are apparently adapted to growing this bean.

The smallness of the crop is no indication of anything as the first year the Blue Lake (pole beans) were planted here the crop was so small that many of the farmers did not expect to grow them the next year. But this year the Blue Lakes harvested as much as seven tons to the acre.

The price for the lima beans is $80 per ton. However there is no picking charge and the beans are threshed here by the R.D. Bodle Company, buyers of the product and the green vines make fine cow feed.

The handling of the beans is an interesting process. The beans are threshed green here, and there must be no more than 10 percent whites, or ripe beans. They are then iced and shipped to the freezer in Seattle, where they are done up in cellophane packages and frozen. They are shipped to Eastern markets where stores with special equipment sell them.

This particular branch of agriculture may develop into something that will be of great benefit to this community.

A.J. Justman is the agent for R.D. Bodle, and Lawrence Darts is in charge of the thresher.

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